The Real Custer: From Boy General to Tragic Hero and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $29.99
  • Save: $12.71 (42%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The Real Custer: From Boy... has been added to your Cart
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by TTPDC
Condition: Used: Very Good
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Real Custer: From Boy General to Tragic Hero Hardcover – June 23, 2014

37 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$17.28
$13.29 $7.32

New York Times Bestseller:"Black Mass"
read the best-selling true crime book.
$17.28 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Real Custer: From Boy General to Tragic Hero + The Last Days of George Armstrong Custer: The True Story of the Battle of the Little Bighorn
Price for both: $34.62

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Deserved or not, it is the fate of George Armstrong Custer to be best remembered for his monumental failure, the entirely avoidable slaughter of himself and more than 200 members of his regiment at the Little Big Horn. Of course, there is much more to Custer’s career and character, much of it laudable. Robbins, currently at the American Foreign Policy Council, is clearly out to balance the scales in this well-done project. Using a straight chronological approach, Robbins views the youthful Custer as high-spirited, friendly, and, surprisingly, studious. As a cadet at West Point, Custer’s record was dismal, but Robbins sees youthful exuberance rather than laziness or lack of self-control. Custer’s record during the Civil War was remarkable, both for his courage and the success of his aggressive cavalry maneuvers and charges. Yet, as Robbins point out, his aggressive moves could also be viewed as dangerously and unnecessarily reckless. There was clearly a tendency to be impatient and dismissive of conventional military wisdom in his tactics. Contrary to many recent historians, Robbins finds Custer’s record as an Indian fighter to be admirable, but he acknowledges that his boldness and thirst for glory finally caught up with him at the Little Big Horn. This is a useful revisionist account of Custer’s life. --Jay Freeman

Review

"Robbins delivers a book about as free of cliché arguments as one can get. He avoids the cynicism and sneering that too often attend his subject to give a full, sympathetic, yet warts-and-all portrait of the man we've long known: last in his West Point class, impetuous, cocky, brave, foolish, insubordinate, violent, a born warrior who struggled to survive in peacetime, and, of course, the controversial chump of Little Big Horn." -- Publisher's Weekly

"[Robbins] avoids the cynicism and sneering that too often attend his subject to give a full, sympathetic, yet warts-and-all portrait of the man we've long known: last in his West Point class, impetuous, cocky, brave, foolish, insubordinate, violent, a born warrior...." —Publisher's Weekly

"James Robbins's The Real Custer: From Boy General to Tragic Hero is a well-written four-hundred-page epic adventure that details the highs and lows of one of America’s most controversial figures. His treatment of Custer is fair and even handed. The most impressive aspect of the volume is the 'Boy General's' cadet years and his fearless exploits during the Civil War. For the casual reader who desires a truly dedicated exploration of Custer the man and soldier placed in the context of his time—this is the real thing."
—Michael Donahue, author of Drawing Battle Lines: The Map Testimony of Custer's Last Fight, historical interpreter at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and chairman of the Department of Visual Arts at Temple College

"Robbins has succeeded brilliantly in presenting The Real Custer, making vivid his romantic flair, joie de vivre, and battlefield mastery without being blind to his flaws."
—John Pafford, author of The Forgotten Conservative

"Robbins has created a scintillating, exciting narrative about the unique exploits of America's Boy General. He weaves a plethora of original source materials into a compelling, flowing tale of derring-do. The fast pace of the book matches the fast pace of Custer's Civil War involvement at Bull Run, the Peninsula, Gettysburg, the Shenandoah Valley, Five Forks, and Appomattox. Custer was everywhere in the eastern theater, and Robbins captures the nature and spirit of his adventures there and in the Indian wars that followed."
—Edward H. Bonekemper III, book review editor for Civil War News and author of Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 494 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery History (June 23, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621572099
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621572091
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #702,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Richard Masloski on July 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
It is a curious thing that for a book grandiosely entitled THE REAL CUSTER, there is not a real photograph of the man himself gracing the cover. Nor are there to be found any photographs of Custer or his contemporaries within the pages of the book. Even the well-known Matthew Brady photograph of Custer - which was the General's own favorite of himself - is reproduced herein as a steel engraving and not a reproduction of the actual photo. Including this image, there are nine illustrations in the book - and all are archival drawings. It is also a curious thing that there are no maps whatsoever to be found within these pages. Immensely helpful to the initiate to Custeriana would have been a few battle maps - especially of such important battles in Custer's career as Gettysburg, the Washita and Little Bighorn. Oh, well.

As to the book itself, there are trouble spots throughout. Let me focus on two events in Custer's life by way of example. After the Civil War, Custer was stationed in Alexandria, Louisiana and found himself having to contend with deserters and mutineers amongst his troops. James Robbins, author of this book, informs us that three deserters and one man charged with mutiny were sentenced to death by firing squad. According to Robbins' account, the mutineer, one Sgt. Lancaster, had ordered Lt. Col Dale to leave the command! On the day of execution, Lancaster was spared by Custer and we are told that the three deserters were summarily executed: "The deserters were executed as planned," writes Robbins. Robbins even quotes Custer's wife, Libbie, in painting an image that seems to lead to a multiple execution.
Read more ›
10 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian English on December 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
There are some decent moments in this book. The coverage of Custer's experiences as a West Point Cadet and his Civil War experiences are good. But overall, it feels less like a real biography, and more like a long Wikipedia entry about Custer. It's a linear recitation of the events of Custer's life, and you learn a lot about what Custer did, but very little about who he was. There's little to no analysis of Custer the man. There are glimpses, but just not enough.

The writing is flat and pedestrian. Also, Robbins can be oddly selective with the details. In one portion of the book, he writes that "at the time, Custer was on temporary duty in Kentucky." But he fails to say why he was there, and what he was doing. Since this happened during Custer's time on the frontier, it would seem to be a fairly significant change of post considering the time and distance between the Dakotas and Kentucky in the 19th century. But Robbins simply breezes past this. Strange.

There are actually many interesting facts in the book about Libby Custer's life that I'd not read previously.

As Custer biographies go, it's average. No new material, not detailed enough to be a true military biography.

For a better view of Custer the man and the period of the Indian Wars, you should really go with SON OF THE MORNING STAR by Evan S. Connell. For his Civil War career, check out CUSTER VICTORIOUS by Gregory Urwin.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim Messer on September 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent work. Well researched and devoid of political correctness. When stripped of the hero/villain cliche's, Custer becomes a more complex, and interesting individual. This is my sixth book on Custer and his Civil War exploits still fascinate. Fearless, intelligent, excellent tactician, this was the boy general that defeated JEB Stuart at Gettysburg, possibly saving the battle for Meade. A wonderful read, excellently written, Custer continues to fascinate, and, in some respects, elude biographers and readers alike. If you have any interest in the Civil War, the war on the plains against the Indians, or just plain adventure, The Real Custer will not disappoint. The battle on the Washita takes on new understanding and established precedent for Custer's tactics at Little Big Horn. In an age of glory, Custer still stands out.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James C. Woodson on August 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought this was a very good book...a well-written, and thoroughly researched account of a very complex character. I confess to being one of many who intensely disliked Custer, based on most of the conventional wisdom, but this book really gave me a lot of insight into him. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in George Custer, beyond the Battle of Little Big Horn. The book spends a great deal of time on Custer's time as a cadet at West Point, and I think this really provides a lot of insight into what transpires later, during the Civil War and Indian Wars. Great read!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition
I fast found out about fifty pages into James S. Robbins book, The Real Custer, just how little I was taught about the man who would find infamy as losing, arguably, the most famous battle in American history. The tale of the Battle of the Little Bighorn stands today as a reminder of the chaos and confusion of war, that winning or losing a battle doesn’t guarantee a victory in the end. Custer had no idea when he took that ridge overlooking the beautiful valley that sunny afternoon that this would be the defining moment of his career. This is unfortunate, because there was so much more to him, his life and his service to our country than the series of bad decisions and lack of support that resulted in the calamity for both the Army and the Indians that day on the battlefield. Custer took his place in infamy, but the win was bittersweet for the Indians. Their dark victory at the Little Bighorn would turn out to be the beginning of the end for them as a free people. None of us will ever really know how the last minutes of Custer’s career played out. But in all accounts one theme seems to hold true. The Indians recognized Custer as the relentless warrior he was. Custer loved being a soldier and a patriot. With more costume changes on the battlefield than Cher in a concert, he rose above his critics and his fans and found a way to be politically correct and incorrect at the same time. His flamboyant and theatrical approach to war brought him the balance he sought in life. He was a legend of his own making and sustaining his ego and talent for war became his undoing. James S. Robbins has written a wonderful book that takes us back to our first growing pains as a country, our successes and our failures, and the all too painful reality of the complications of war. General Custer died the way he lived…believing he’d get a standing ovation and an encore. He just ran out of lives.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Real Custer: From Boy General to Tragic Hero
This item: The Real Custer: From Boy General to Tragic Hero
Price: $17.28
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: last stand at little bighorn welch